It was a “down” conversation they’d had, another puzzle-solving session, and the coach asked him: “How much delight do you experience?”
My friend looked at the coach as though he’d spoken in some ancient, non-understandable language.
“What?” he stared, actually asking for the definition of the word “delight.”
When my friend told me the story, he still seemed puzzled…and bothered that he had no idea how to even access “delight,” much less bring more into his life.
I told him: “Well, I do delight very well. I’d feel happy to share mine with you…”
I pointed out what he’s always seen in my words and behavior:
“ooo…look, a bird!” (Yes, the “ooo’s” and the exclamation points are how I really speak…as though I’m discovering and saying “ooo…a double rainbow over there!”)
“ooo…a cloud shaped like a bear!”
“ooo…a snail on that leaf!”
(And when I’m really in the zone I speak as I teach my clients to…as a “poet…”):
“ooo…I feel so excited to see that caterpillar inching along here…” (complete with my lowering myself to the ground and intently studying the caterpillar moving…)
“ooo…I feel so…back in England feeling this mist around me…”
“ooo…I feel five years old with this puppy looking at me….”
And then, I realize, look at my friend and say:
“And I also do ‘being in my head’ very well…”
“…and I also do ‘shut down’ very well…”
“…and I also do ‘rush to judgment very well…”
And so I realized I do many things very well.
It’s just that not all of them feel good, or like what I’m supposed to be doing well, or what helps or serves me.
Regardless, I do them very well.
I can also “Wake Up” very well.
*I notice I do not speak anger very well, but I certainly DO anger, inside myself, very well. I can GO there very well.
*I can go to making up all kinds of things very well.
*I can black out by being in my thoughts for 20 minutes on a walk with trees I love around me the whole way.
Then, when I “wake up,” I can spend more time in my head by denouncing myself for being in my head, and then mentally punishing myself for it.
And then another 5 minutes of my life goes by.
OR – when I “wake up,” I can go “Oooo…an iridescent beetle on the ground! I feel like…jungle!”
And then…I’m doing delight very well.
I can do what I want. I’m good at many things.
I get to choose.
A never-ending barrage of stimuli, moments; things to hear, see, touch, taste, smell. A milli-moment-by-millimoment choice to be made.
Will I be in my head? Or will I be “here”?
Will I distract myself with my thoughts about what I just thought, did, said, imagined – or will I be here?
I can live my life in my head, like I’m always watching a movie playing – or I can actually live it, two feet on the ground…
…no matter WHAT it feels like, looks like, shows up like.
Choosing “here” means giving up all control.
It means surrendering to what I “don’t know.”
It means living my life on the edge of the unknown, and walking off that edge every single moment.
It means getting used to discomfort and fear.
It means building your “brave” muscle a baby-step at a time, until you no longer really care what “he” does, or says.
*Until everything that shows up becomes simply “information.”
Until everything becomes simply “data” that’s filtered in (however your personal subconscious filters work), gathered and treasured (not “mulled” over).
Until that data is graciously allowed to “organically” (yeah, sort of like a compost heap) churn out new paths, new ideas, new impulses, new ways to step off the edge into the unknown.
New ways to be brave – AND on your own side at all times.
New ways to choose delight over nearly everything else – no matter what you’re doing, or what it looks like out there.
I love the train marked “delight.” It feels tickly.
It helps me know that when I look at our dog, Nell, I can either jump to worrying, thinking about how the heck are we going to give her a bath and whether or not she’s potentially ill, jump to imagining the hard life she’s had – OR I can just take delight in her walking so mellowly beside me.
I can even make up assumptions about what’s going on with Nell. I can make her up as “vigilant.” I can make her up as “long-suffering.” I can make her a mental clone of my own mental process.
When, really, she’s just walking beside me, experiencing her own experience, gathering her own information however she gathers information.
It doesn’t matter.
I can be sad, or grumpy, or stubbornly working out a “problem” in my head – or I can be here.
Of everything in the world, everything going on, I can choose to put my attention on what’s “delightful.”
I can choose to put my attention on what feels delightful, and on experiencing the feeling of delight.
I am, regardless of what I think, the master of my mental choices.
I am the master of the meaning in my life, for, to me – nothing means anything until I say what that meaning is.
And – how can I, given the scope of All There Is, even begin to comprehend, much less pronounce, the meaning of anything?
I like the feeling of feeling humble. I like giving up knowing meaning.
I like the feeling of information flowing through my senses, and the feeling of letting the information be organized and arranged and stamped and categorized and titled and subtitled “elsewhere” (if there’s any of this at all going on anywhere “elsewhere”).
***Ohhh…and not “elsewhere” as in “other people” (because part of not giving meaning to anything includes not taking other people’s “meanings” personally)…but “elsewhere” as in “The Unknown.”
The Unknown “thing” (or “not-thing,” because I don’t believe I know much of anything) I step into every moment, and don’t try to “figure out.”
Living this way takes practice. I’m a baby at this.
I love you all for lighting the way…
Let’s light each other’s way.
To the Unknown! To the Delight Train-> Now boarding!